We used to experience frequent dense atmospheric fogs in the part of England where I lived for many years. Being caught in a really dense fog, known in Britain as "a pea souper", was more unnerving and disorienting than I had ever realised. My mother and I were out shopping one afternoon trolling around some department store for an hour or so. When we'd entered the store it had been an average kind of coolish, dampish, Septemberish afternoon; when we stepped out later everything was shrouded in a thick white, choking fog. We gasped, laughed and began to walk a few yards, then found we had no idea how far we'd walked or where to turn or where to cross the road - which would have been a stupid thing to do anyway. The fog was so thick you couldn't even see the edge of the footpath(sidewalk) or, in fact, the footpath under your own feet. We couldn't see any other people around at all, or sense the way back to the same store, so quickly disorientated had we become. The experience brought on a dizzying feeling unlike anything I've known since. We held hands, felt our way along buildings until a dim glow from another store filtered through the fog. We waited inside until the worst of the fog had lifted.
On another occasion I was with my parents in their car travelling the 20 or so miles home from a visit to another city. The weather had been fine and dry as we set off, around 5pm. Halfway home a thick fog descended. In those days there were not nearly as many cars and lorries on the roads, which was fortunate for us, but headlights weren't nearly as efficient as they are today. We parked for a while, the fog persisted, so my mother opted to walk in front of the car with (optimistically) a lighter, and lighted cigarette, in the hope that any oncoming traffic would see us, also in the fervent hope that she wouldn't disappear into the fog, only to be knocked down by Dad! We proceeded at a very, very slow pace almost to the outskirts of our hometown where we promptly collapsed into fits of nervous giggles.
By Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
|Milan, Italian city known in the past for its for thick winter fog|
|Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)|
“One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, "We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I'll make one. I'll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I'll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I'll make a sound that's so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life."
"The Fog Horn blew.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Fog Horn
More Foggy Fragments....
Foggy Day in London Town; Foggy Foggy Dew; Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow. (Bob Dylan, Mr Tambourine Man)
the fog =
le brouillard (French)
la nebbia (Italian)
la niebla (Spanish)
der nebel (German)
The fog of war: confusion caused by the chaos of war or battle, fog of war can cloud judgment.
Sometimes we don't have "the foggiest idea."
Pettifogger = a lawyer who handles petty cases, esp. one who uses unethical methods in conducting trumped-up cases, a trickster, cheater.
Types of Fog
1. Radiation Fog - During a clear night, radiational cooling causes the air temperature at the surface to reach the dew point. At that point, condensation occurs, and fog forms.
2. Advection Fog - When warm, moist air moves horizontally across a cold surface, the air is cooled to the dew point, and fog forms because of it.
3. Slope Fog - When warm, moist air rises up a slope, it eventually reaches the Lifting Condensation Level (LCL), which is where the air temp equals the dew point, etc.
4. Precipitation Fog - After plenty of rainfall, enough of it evaporates to saturate the air, and that results in fog formation.
5. Steam Fog - Cool air present above warm water receives enough water vapor from evaporation to form fog.